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Open Educational Resources (OERs)

This guide exists to support the OER pilot program at the University of Calgary.

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge (Hewlett Foundation, 2017).

  • Permissions around use and repurposing are granted by use of an open license (for example, Creative Commons licenses) which allows anyone to freely use, adapt and share the resource—anytime, anywhere.

  • “Open” permissions are defined in terms of the “5R’s”: users are free to Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix and Redistribute these educational materials.

About this guide

OER logoThe purpose of this guide is to support the OER pilot project at the University of Calgary.  

As such, it focuses on resources to help find existing OER, and tools for appraising OER for quality and reliability.  

Use the links on the left to navigate through the site.

How is the University of Calgary Supporting OER?

A number of University of Calgary faculty, staff and students are already engaged in exploring, producing, and using OER.  Beginning in 2017, the University has begun to invest in infrastructure to better support the adoption of OER on a wider scale.  This approach involves:

  1. An OER advocacy team consisting of faculty members Quazi Hassan and Kyle O’Keefe, and PhD candidate Khan Rahaman, is working to collaborate with stakeholders, raise awareness, and build an OER community of practice at the University of Calgary.
  2. An OER pilot project that provides support to help academic staff identify prospective OERs that match their course requirements, and providing peer reviews of these resources.

For more information about this work, please see the UCalgary Open website.


This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) unless otherwise noted. Content adapted from work done by BC Campus, Simon Fraser University, George Washington University and more.

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